On Tuesday, I wrote about how I struggle to find the balance between assisting my son out of love and interfering with my son’s development because I assume he can’t do something.
When I was growing up, words were important to me. I equated the ability to speak well and write well with being intelligent. This was long before the theory of multiple intelligences was popularized.
Many autistics struggle with spoken language. Because they don’t/can’t speak, people assume they are less intelligent. That is why, as part of Autism Acceptance Month, advocates are spreading this message: presume competence.
Here are some excellent books/articles written by autistics about being treated as less or completely discounted because they don’t use spoken language:
How Can I Talk if My Lips Don’t Move: Inside My Autistic Mind by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
“Autism Speaks, I Want to Say” by Amy Sequenzia
An autistic plea for love and tolerance on CNN iReport
I would also recommend that you read “The 7 Tenets for Presuming Competence.”
I’m blogging about autism acceptance as part of the April A to Z Challenge.